person with camera underwater

IP ratings

If you plan on taking your devices out and about with you, it’s important they can withstand the elements. Ingress Protection (IP) ratings indicate how resistant a device is to water and solids (dust/dirt).

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How to read a rating

IP ratings have two numbers:

  • The first relates to solids, such as dust, and has a maximum rating of 6.
  • The second relates to water and goes as high as 8.

An X rating means it hasn’t been assessed for that type of protection.

Examples

  • IP55 and IP65: Protected from most dust and low-pressure sprayed water
  • IP67: Dustproof and resistant to water up to a metre in depth
  • IPX7: Hasn’t been tested on dust particles, but is resistant to water up to a metre in depth.

Level of protection Solid ingress Water ingress
X Not tested Not tested
1 >50mm Dripping water
2 >12.55mm Vertically dripping water when tilted 15°
3 >2.5mm Water falling in a spray up to 60°
4 >1mm Splashing water from any direction
5 Protected from most dust, though some small particles may be able to get in Low-pressure sprayed water
6 Dustproof High-pressure water jets
7 - Immersion up to 1m
8 - Immersion beyond 1m. Often the maximum recommended depth is stated in conjunction with this rating.


Take caution

We caution an object with a waterproof IP rating should not be purposely immersed in water unless the manufacturer says it’s designed for it, such as swimming watches.

IP ratings are assessed in lab conditions, which means they can’t always account for real-life situations. Some manufacturers err on the side of caution and will not highlight a product’s IP rating or will understate the level of protection.

What if my device has water damage?

In the past decade the number of complaints we’ve received from members about water-damaged devices has dropped to almost zero. Anything needing that sort of repair would generally be outside of warranties and the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA). But if the device is claimed to be waterproof it shouldn’t get water damage, so surely you’d be covered?

Yes you will! You may need to do some arguing of your case, but you’ll be covered by both the CGA and the Fair Trading Act.